When seeking medical attention, mistakes can happen, including failure to recognize symptoms, diagnose or misdiagnose, and surgical errors. These are just a few mistakes in the hospital and can lead to fatal health complications, which can be a lifetime condition or even death. Malpractice is the term used to refer to such a situation. This happens when a hospital or a health professional causes injuries to patients through negligent acts or omission. Knowing your rights as a patient is vital to ensure you get compensated for the damage. However, you can still get compensated if you follow the correct channel. This article outlines the crucial steps you should take in case of hospital malpractice.
Act Before the Deadline Elapses
When you think or suspect you suffer from hospital malpractice, you must report it as soon as possible. Most people ignore the injuries, and when they decide to report them, they get frustrated as the time has expired. The statute of a state has a time limitation that dictates the time you can take to report. Some have a period of just one year from the time of the incident, while the limit is two years for others. The advantage of early reporting is that your mind is still fresh, and you can recall the happening of that day.
Contact an Attorney
When planning to file a lawsuit for hospital malpractice, you need to be prepared and aware of your rights. To get the right guidance, you need to contact the law firm for your injury and help you get justice. To win such a case, you need to hire a professional injury lawyer with experience in such cases. Take your time to research for a good reputable attorney and tell them everything they ask to get the best help. A good attorney will guide you in collecting essential evidence to prove you are a victim and establish a strong case. When looking for an attorney, consider one with a free initial consultation and those that are determined to make you win the case.
Determine if it was the Hospital and Not a Specific Individual
Just because you have suffered injuries due to negligence by a doctor is not a guarantee that you must sue the hospital. With the help of your attorney, you will identify if the hospital committed the mistake or if it’s just an individual health care practitioner who committed it. Unless the doctor is an employee of the hospital, it’s difficult to sue it for malpractice committed by the doctor.
Attain Medical Records
Most hospitals will always have the medical records of all patients they treat. You need to obtain such records to act as evidence in your case. These records will illustrate the type of help you require and the treatment you receive. It’s also important to always store the records and all medication you are given in the hospital to help you if such a case occurs. Some hospitals will charge you for the copies, while others, knowing that you are planning to sue them, will refuse to give you.
Access the Damages
Accessing the damage caused and its impact on you in the future is significant as it helps you determine the compensation you want. The damages should include all the medical bills and how the injury has changed your lifestyle. If a severe case has affected your job, ensure it’s included in your report. A patient can also include pain and suffering, lifestyle, and future wages.
Determine Who to Sue
When having all this evidence, you can now determine who to sue. If it’s unclear who caused the malpractice, you can consider using all the parties involved. Always talk to your lawyer and ask all the questions you got since they will be able to guide you. Don’t be afraid to sue everyone involved, both the practitioners and the hospital, to ensure you get justice.
Comply With any Procedural Rules
Different states have different rules when it comes to filling such cases. Always consult to ensure you act following the set laws. Some states will require you to file an affidavit of merit where you need a medical practitioner to attest that your case is valid. However, some states require you to submit some medical review before taking the matter to court. Also, confirm that you’re acting on the set period to avoid dismissing your case. If you are still on schedule, consider drafting a filed complaint.
Following the above steps, you are in a position to have a strong case. When collecting evidence, you can take pictures of your injuries and store all the medical documents safely. Always consult with your lawyer about your state’s rules to ensure you work within the guidelines.